Legal Guide to Investment in Iraq

December 1, 2015 - December 3, 2015



As Iraq looks to increase economic growth and development, the need to attract local and foreign investment is ever more clear and present. From investing in infrastructure to the housing sector, energy to public services, one thing is clear: the opportunities in Iraq are abundant and the country is ready to welcome and engage investors from all over the world.

To this end, Legal Guide to Investment in Iraq, a bilingual Arabic-English publication, aims to increase investment in Iraq by providing a common-reference tool for use by public- and private-sector parties. Ultimately, the objective is to provide legal certainty to these parties by outlining relevant Iraqi legislation, underscored by the recently enacted Second Amended National Investment Law No. 13 of 2006, delineating critical investment procedures for key economic growth sectors, and providing a model investment contract to ensure equitable investment agreements and robust negotiation processes.

The Legal Guide is a collaboration between the U.S. Government, led by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP), and the Government of Iraq, led by the National Investment Commission (NIC). It was conceived as a means of memorializing a multiphase, capacity-building program, led by CLDP in 2013-2014 to train lawyers within the NIC and the Provincial Investment Commissions of Iraq in contract drafting and negotiations. The Legal Guide was officially launched in November 2015 by the Chairman of the NIC, Dr. Sami Al-Araji, and was immediately recognized for the important role it will play in helping mitigate risk, facilitate foreign investment, and support private sector growth in Iraq.

Contributors to the Legal Guide include the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as members of leading international and local law firms and private banks. The hope is that, by providing perspectives from all facets of the investment process, the Legal Guide can present the reader with a balanced understanding of the challenges involved in creating an investment contract and insight into the practical reality of overcoming these challenges when negotiating these complex agreements.


The Legal Guide is divided into the following Sections:








DOWNLOAD the Arabic-English Legal Guide here in PDF format

The Legal Guide will be available in hardback in April 2016 with updates to include the Second Amended National Investment Law No. 13 of 2006. 


Special thanks goes to each and every one of the contributing authors and their respective teams that contributed to this Legal Guide. We are especially thankful for the hard work and effort of John Furlow, Lana Khoury and the rest of the team at Mayer Brown LLP (Legal Advice/Proofreading), Firas Jawhari, Dr. Abdeljabber Al-Hayani, Rasha Nadeem and the team at Bayt Al Hikma (BHC Firm) (Iraqi Legal Advice/Proofreading), Hussein Bazzi and Mohammed Loraoui at CLDP (Technical Support/Proofreading), and Osama Sadick and his team at Transword (Legal Translators). We would also like to recognize the funding of the US Department of State – Near East Affairs/Iraq, the support of the OECD, especially the leadership of Klaus Hachmeier, and the invaluable expertise of the NIC legal staff.

The following is the list of authors who contributed to the handbook:

Hamada Dara Zahawi
Managing Editor
Attorney-Advisor (International)
U.S. Department of Commerce
United States

Rashad Khalaf Hasham
Senior Legal Advisor
Legal Department
National Investment Commission

Ahmed Dawood, Esq.
Managing Partner

Gassia Assadourian
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 

Mohammed Shaikley
Al Nowais Investments

Tom Eldert
Mayer Brown LLP
United States

Thomas Jersild
Retired Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
Senior Commercial Law Expert
United States


**The Legal Guide is published under the Creative Commons License.

Upcoming Programs

July 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020

Most of Iraq’s hydrocarbons are located in the province of Basrah. In spite of these mineral resources, unemployment is high in the province. To increase the likelihood that university graduates will be hired, since the summer of 2019, CLDP, in close cooperation with the University of Houston/Petroleum Technology Initiative (PTI), has been conducting a program to equip students from four Basrah universities with the skills sought by International Oil Companies (IOC) that operate in the province. A key skill required from new hires by the IOCs is competence in project management. To this end, PTI, under a contract with CLDP developed and taught in Houston in August 2019, a two-week course on “Project Management in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production”. This course was taught to delegations from four Basrah universities: Basrah University, Southern Technical University, Basrah University for Oil and Gas, Basrah Oil Training institute. Each university was supposed to send one professor and three students to Houston. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond their control, three of the professors were unable to attend the two-week course in Houston, a course that was very well-received by the lone professor and by all the students. Therefore, at CLDP’s request, PTI will now develop an online version of this course, to be used by the universities of the professors who could not go to Houston in August 2019. This development will take place in July and August 2020. 

July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

In July, August, and September 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with USTR and the University of Missouri, will provide virtual business fundamental courses to 20 Salvadoran textile representatives. CLDP has partnered with a textile and apparel expert who will conduct group sessions, as well as tailored sessions depending on the needs and businesses of the selected representatives. Lessons will cover business plan development and implementation, mentorship opportunities, local business resources, and personnel management. Furthermore, the sessions will give the Salvadoran textiles representatives the opportunity to begin developing comprehensive plans to effectively disseminate the knowledge they acquire during this program broadly across the industry with other textile professionals in El Salvador. Participants, who represent the Salvadoran private sector, key government agencies, and academia, will continue to engage their U.S. counterparts in this project for the remainder of the CLDP programming throughout 2021. This project is a part of CLDP’s and USTR’s capacity-building program to improve regional prosperity by fostering human and institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the Salvadoran textile industry.

CLDP in Action

July 30, 2020

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Russia, Europe, and Eurasia (ORUE)CLDP participated in a video meeting with Javlon Vakhabov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United States on June 25, 2020, to discuss Uzbekistan’s Strategy for the Development of Agriculture in 2020-2030. 

Read More about CLDP Draws upon Interagency Relationships to Assist Uzbekistan in Implementing its New Agricultural Strategy